September 30, 2013 (Washington, DC) – Less than a week after Dr. Prabhjot Singh was slurred as “Osama” and viciously assaulted in a hate crime in New York City, the Sikh Coalition successfully persuaded Walmart and RiteAid to stop selling costumes resembling Osama bin Laden.
Apart from promoting stereotypes about turbans and beards that lead to violence against Sikhs and other minorities, these costumes insult those who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks and insult American troops who sacrificed their lives in our nation’s war against Al Qaeda.
“This is like selling a Hitler costume,” said Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition. “Businesses have a legal right to sell offensive items, but they also have a moral responsibility to use good judgment and common sense. We are thankful to Walmart and RiteAid for promptly removing these items and hope other sellers will follow their example.”
The Sikh Coalition has contacted Sears, as well as the costume supplier Fun World (a division of Easter Unlimited, Inc.), to request removal of the costume from sale and display.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly.